Homeland Security Chairman Peter King is holding a hearing Thursday on The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and That Communitys Response.
A coalition of civil rights activists, Muslim groups and other organizations launched a high-tech grass-roots and social media campaign Tuesday in the hopes of canceling an upcoming Congressional hearing on Islamic radicalization.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, has scheduled a hearing for Thursday to probe “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and That Community’s Response.”
It already has caused quite a backlash, including protests.
“This is a campaign to push back against anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate that divide us and make us less safe,” said Farhana Khera, president and executive director of Muslim Advocates. “We are coming together to make our voices heard.”
The effort does not include an advertising campaign, but it is relying on a new website, whatunites.us, Facebook and other social media outlets to encourage Americans to reach out to their Members of Congress. Several organizations have signed the coalition’s pledge to stand together, including September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, the Arab American Institute, the Interfaith Alliance, South Asian Americans Leading Together and the North Carolina Council of Churches.
Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said he’s not certain of King’s intentions for the hearing.
“Obviously, you presume the chairman of the committee is pursuing a legitimate course, but to single out one religious community for focus ... seems to us to be wrongheaded.”
Henderson, whose group is part of the coalition and opposes racial profiling, added that the FBI has said the American Muslim community has contributed to law enforcement efforts “to curtail homegrown terrorism. ... I can only hope that Chairman King, assessing the reaction he’s getting, will at least rethink future hearings and temper what he does in this one.”
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